(CN) – Parents cannot enforce their children’s rights under the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled. The Newark Parents Association sued the Newark Public Schools under the Act, claiming the schools did not live up to their obligations.
The parents said the Newark schools never informed them that the schools had been targeted for improvement, or that the parents had the right to transfer their children to non-failing schools, receive supplemental services and request information on teachers’ qualifications.
However, the district court ruled that the penalties section of the Act only allows Congress to withhold funds from states that don’t comply with the Act’s provisions. It does not allow individuals to sue school districts for non-compliance.
Judge Barry agreed on appeal.
“While the (Act’s) reference to ‘all children’ could ostensibly be read as a proclamation that each and every child shall have certain rights,” Barry wrote, “Congress did not refer to the individual rights of each and every child.”